Friday, July 12, 2013


20 Tips by Roger Deakins | Burak Oguz Saguner
1. Don’t Get Distracted with Technique“Operating the wheels needs to become second nature as it can be a disaster if the technique of operating distracts from the relationship that an operator has with the subject.

Pawel Edelman – Cinematographer | Filmuforia
it’s interesting to be involved as early as possible, to know the main subject and the themes to be a part of the whole machinery of the movie-making process, which makes you (as a DoP) more involved and in the  centre of the process.

New Features in Premiere Pro CC 7.0.1 Update! | retooled
Well, it seems Adobe has kept their promise to use the new Creative Cloud platform to deliver a whole slew of new features. Now I don’t just mean bug updates as we had seen in the past with the Creative Suite, I mean upwards of 25 new features. In this video we go through the biggest changes to Premiere Pro CC and what you should know and expect from these new features.

What’s new in Premiere Pro CC and Adobe Media Encoder (v7.01) July 2013 | DAV's TechTable
Here’s a run down of the new July 2013 updates for Premiere Pro CC and Adobe Media Encoder (AME) . This updates their versions to 7.01. As you’ll see , our engineering has been very busy taking  feedback from our field teams and more importantly direct customer feedback.

8 Mistakes Filmmakers Make That Kill Their Careers | Raindance
1. Doing Too Much YourselfBusiness owners as well as filmmakers fall into this trap as they attempt to minimise costs. It can mean that you will get bogged down in the day-to-day nitty gritty, keeping you from stepping back and taking a good hard look at the future.

INTERVIEW: Stuart Ashton talking about DaVinci Resolve 10 | Final Cut
Our intent for Resolve since we first acquired DaVinci was to create a more open postproduction workflow for creative professionals. We know through our experiences that the whole process is about having flexibility and speed in each of the areas that you want to work in. The ability to move between systems effortlessly is essential.

He’s the first to admit that DSLRs aren’t designed to be run-and-gun cameras but has overcome many of issues with a fairly simple setup. He’s put together the excellent video below detailing his documentary setup with the 5D mkIII.

Game of Thrones bloodbath explained Cinematographer reveals how scenes filmed |
“I wanted then to move into unusually bright light, by Game of Thrones’ standards, for the feast,” McLachlan continued. “I had the art department add a great deal more candlesticks and torches than they wanted and then, thanks to the new Arri Alexa camera, was able to tip my hat to Stanley Kubrick (in Barry Lyndon) and use only candlelight for the scene, which made it very pretty.”

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Premiere Pro CC July 2013 Update | Adobe
One of the best things about Creative Cloud is that we’re able to develop and release features in cadence with the demands of this rapidly growing and evolving industry. The Premiere Pro CC July 2013 update, available now, is the first example of that, and we’re thrilled to be able to give you multiple new editing features so soon after the first CC release – less than a month after we shipped CC.

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera in a News Environment | Pro Video Coalition
I am the Creative Services Sr. Writer/Producer for the NBC affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee.  Every spot we produced for over a year was shot on my personal Canon 60D.  Now, the poor camera looks like it’s been to combat and in dire need of a rebuild.  Needless to say, when the BMCC arrived the week after I returned from NAB 2013 I was glad to see it.

Eurovision working on 4K Ultra HD product badge scheme | Recombu
Televisions built to receive 4K Ultra HD broadcast could get a badge to help consumers identify them better. The badge scheme was decided on following a meeting of broadcasters and TV manaufacturers. The European Broadcasting Union said a key decision to cooperate on plotting a course for 4K (aka Ultra HD) rollout in Europe was agreed this week.

The New Digital Cinema Race | Wide Open Camera
It seems like the 4K acquisition leap is inevitable, Blackmagic will have a $4,000 4K camera later this month if all goes well, Sony and Canon both have multiple 4K options at different price points. JVC even decided to embarrass themselves with a poke at 4K. Phantom has 4K at 1000fps! RED is pushing out it’s 6K upgrade in September, and Arri has grumpily stepped up to the 4K plate.

Script Angel: Creativity Is Key | Script Mag
One of the reasons I like the idea of getting into an open mode is that it gives you maximum thinking time. When we’re rushing we often go with the first solution or idea in order to move on. Sometimes we need to play with something for longer until a more original solution arises. We need to give ourselves maximum pondering time and live with the discomfort. True play is experiment; an openness to anything happening.

Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s F65 shoot | Sony
For “Winter Sleep”, Ceylan opted to shoot on an F65, having first tested an assortment of 4K and 2K cameras. “We made a comparison test before we started, and as soon as I saw the results I decided on the F65 as there was a huge difference with this camera,” he says.

Ryan E. Walters Part 1 – Lighting An Exterior Night Scene (Short Film Breakdown) | Big League Film School
This interview is so informative on how you can pull a lot off with little resources (including time!). Ryan takes us through just two of the scenes and how he executed the lighting and composition and why. Below the interview videos are stills that we discuss from his short film. You will learn what lights he used (and why!), how they were placed, the logic in the composition and how he quickly maneuvered from one shot to the next in a mad time crunch.

Cine Gear 2013 - The Sony FS700 in the RAW from Sony Professional USA on Vimeo.
Art Adams and Adam Wilt present the Sony FS700 in the RAW, featuring the new 2K RAW High Frame Rate, and 4K RAW recording solutions. The seminar includes footage screening.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


ARRI Alexa suffers 26 foot fall, survives | Facebook
ARRI posted the following on their Facebook page:
This ALEXA took a 26 ft. fall onto concrete and survived! They charged the camera up and were shocked to find it was still working as well as recording. Just to be safe, ARRI China’s service department performed an impact assessment and found no serious damage to the camera; so they sent ALEXA back to set to keep working. Thankfully no one was injured all were just left pleasantly surprised at how reliable ALEXA is.

It’s official: Arri are developing a 4K Alexa! | Redshark News
Franz Kraus, managing director of Arri, has announced that Arri are working on a new 4K camera. It will feature at least 4K resolution, at least 14-stops of dynamic range and high frame rate capability.  The idea being to create a new camera with greater spatial resolution without losing the visual qualities that have made the existing Alexa so popular.

A Field In England multiplatform release: the results | Film4
Available to stream or download on Film4oD, Virgin and iTunes, to watch where you want, when you want, A Field In England was the most popular film purchased in its first 3 days on Film4oD, and was the week’s bestselling title on Film4oD despite having just opened on the Friday. Impressively, as a percentage of weekend buys, A Field In England represented 30% of Film4oD’s entire weekend sales.

Dragon Sensor Update | Red User
Dragon ( the sensor ) was actually done before NAB... when you all saw cameras being put together. Sorting out the existing camera infrastructure so the sensor and the ASIC could be an upgrade has been the consuming part. But we are there. Final parts are now being sent off to manufacturing and customer upgrades will begin the first week of September.

Letters from Blocked Filmmakers: David Rosfeld | Filmmaker Magazine
That outside feeling I was so familiar with began turning very negative. Now I wanted to get in, wanted to share my work, but being on the outside seemed to prevent that. I had hoped a good short and doing the festival rounds would help raise my ability to attract a little interest; maybe bring me out of my shell. But even more discouraging, I felt blocked from finding an audience.

Screenwriting Tip #69: The Clueless Villain | Xander Bennett | Mastering Film
Let’s make a distinction here between “villain” and “antagonist”: antagonists are active forces who directly oppose the protagonist. They could be anything from romantic rivals to callous bosses to forces of nature. They may not even be acting deliberately against the protagonist – they just somehow happen to make her life harder. Villains, on the other hand, are almost always people.

Understanding 3D Objects in Cinema 4D: Fundamentals | CG Motion Box
When you are first getting started with Cinema 4D, figuring out the program’s basic tools and interface is everything. Cinema 4D does have some similarities with other 3D packages, but it also has its own quirks, and then again maybe you haven’t used anything else. While there’s always the option of poking around and figuring things out on your own (the hard way), it’s also nice to have a guide.

Randall Einhorn: A Hot Filmmaker Goes Digital | Zacuto
A. The camera focuses only on Ryan and Wilfred. I wanted to tell what Ryan was doing and thinking and unsettle the viewer with stylized imagery. In order to do this, I used Nikon D800 digital equipment. The camera was outfitted with an old Nikkor 50mm T1.2 still lens. These cameras allowed me to create the shallow depth of field I needed and give the film a surreal, unsettled look.

Composition Techniques for Widescreen Aspect Ratios from on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Quick Links

You know, it’s so easy to just get nothing done, but you’ve got to rock a little David Allen out to be able to get things done and break your list down into next actions. And this is true of producing and directing but even of writing. It’s like, Okay, today I am going to figure out this action sequence. 

Crowdfunding: Terms You Need to Know to Successfully Fund Your Film | RainDance
Ad Swap – This is when projects promote each other in a basic synergy type deal by exchanging ad space– this is useful as it is free advertising in exchange for you placing some poster or banner up and helping out a fellow Crowdfunder.

Should Crowdfunding Sites Ban Overfunding? | Filmmaker Magazine
I would suggest that one of the key factors in backer dissatisfaction is project over-funding. Many see this as a blessing — extra cash is always good, right? Wrong! Along with extra cash comes more rewards to fulfill, increased overheads and greater expectations from the crowd

Digital Bolex Sample Raw Frames | Prolost
Here are the three sample DNG frames at both the Lightroom 5 default settings (remember, there’s no such thing as “straight out of the camera” with raw) and color graded by me using Lightroom 5. 

5 Documentary Tips from a Director | Ty Sanga | Zacuto
1. Trust your technical instincts.
You have to let go of the security of planned production and trust your technical instincts to capture the moment. When you’re filming in a foreign country, visiting people you’ve never met and shooting locations you’ve never seen before, anything can happen. 

Post Heading Back to the Big Iron Model? | Mynah Media
However the general computer user’s needs have changed. And now they’re diverging from what post-professionals need. The general user no longer needs power and speed. They need portability, efficiency, and style. There’s more than enough computing power available for anyone’s general needs. 

Using a Little Blackmagic to Revisit a Documentary | Creative COW
Operation is simple. Connect your source to the input side using either composite or component analog (SD or HD) or via SDI (again SD or HD). You can connect a DB25 audio breakout cable for XLR analog or AES/EBU audio ins and out or use line level RCA jacks. 

Canon EOS T5i (700D) – Video Review | Cinema 5D
And the T5i/700D? Well … it gives us a 360 degree adjustment wheel. Or something. There is absolutely nothing that justifies this camera over the T3i/650D for filmmakers.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Quick Links

After they nailed the shot on take one, I just stood there with a dumb look on my face: “Uh…I guess we should do it again, right?”  So we did another take and they nailed it again.  I looked at my watch and realized that at this rate, we could probably shoot half a dozen shots instead of just one or two. 

A Field In England A Film4 Digital Masterclass | A Field In England
Lots of information, well worth checking out this site:
Shooting with deep focus means that the foreground, middleground and background of the shot are all in focus. Ben Wheatley chose to use deep focus extensively on A Field in England, particularly on wide shots of the world of the field.

The Low Budget Starter Kit | Raindance Film Festival
Anyway I digress…the point I am trying to make is that cameras are the starting point in your journey and are becoming much easier to get your hands on. Smartphones have changed the way home videos are made, with all of them now coming with a built in camera. The two top of the range smartphones in the world right now are most definitely the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Canon C500 with Ki Pro Quad | Wide Open Camera
So why would I want ProRes over Raw?  The main reason is workflow, Canon LOG and instant gratification. The reality is that Canon LOG is so great and works perfect with the Quad so there is not really a massive benefit for me to record .RMF Raw files.  The amount of drive space saving is huge.

Ep. 52 - "Weekly Update" | NeedCreative Podcast
Topics include:
  • There’s a big multicam bug in Adobe Premiere Pro CC
  • The Canon 70D and it’s special AF - here we go with “Game Changer” again
  • The Baby Alexa is here
  • C500 with a compressed 4K workflow... now we’re talking

Directing Tips from Film Consultant Seth Hymes: Leadership Doesn't End When Cameras Stop Rolling | No Film School
To be an effective leader you need to be aware of the strains you will be placing on your team and how to soften that strain in their experience. You want people who are going to be driven and passionate about your project, but you don’t want to suck them dry. Quite often, simply maintaining an upbeat attitude and acknowledging your team for doing a great job is half the battle.

BBC to drop 3D plans after trial run | The Guardian
The BBC's head of 3D says there are no further plans for the format after a trial period draws to a close. Kim Shillinglaw said many viewers have found it a hassle at home which has led to few people tuning in to the broadcasts.

Colour Contrast: Making the Most of Orange and Blue | Digital Photography School
Why these two? They happen to be very useful colours to work with because they appear a lot in nature (even though you might not be aware of it). It’s all to do with the colour of the ambient light, which ranges from cool blue to warm orange, depending on the light source.

Meet the Reader: Length Does Matter | ScriptMag
These objectors are correct – all of these examples are great movies whose screenplays were much longer than the accepted norm. However, they have overlooked one very important point — none of these films began life as a spec.

The Writer Speaks: Richard Matheson | Youtube
Acclaimed science fiction master Richard Matheson chats about his life as a writer. 46 minutes.